Are you wondering if beer causes yeast infections? Is it green and foamy? If so, maybe it’s already turning bad, so I wouldn’t recommend that you drink it … unless it’s St. Patrick’s Day! Then, I would say, “Have at it, me lad! And, welcome to the land of 4-leaf clovers, little leprechauns, pots-of-gold, and streams of foamy, green beer!”
If you’ve heard conflicting reports about whether beer can cause a yeast infection and you want an honest answer, you’re not alone. Being a full-fledged lover of the brew, that question has definitely crossed my mind, too. Because I have also heard so many conflicting statements about the role beer plays in yeast infections, I decided to conducted my own research on the subject and share my findings.
In my research, I found a lot of self-proclaimed experts and practitioners stating that yeast in beer does cause yeast infections. However, I beg to differ because I found that all yeasts are not the same.
The yeast contained in beer is not the same yeast that causes a yeast infection. Beer is typically made from a type of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This yeast is also used in baking and better known as brewer’s yeast. When grown specifically to be a nutritional supplement, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is rich in chromium, selenium, B vitamins and protein. It is believed to help control blood sugar, help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, treat acne, relieve diarrhea and reduce the risk of a second skin cancer.
When it’s used for brewing beer or bread making, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is the same species of yeast that is used in both processes, but different strains or varieties of the fungus are used. In bread making, the strain is genetically selected to produce more carbon dioxide and less alcohol – the evolving gas causes the bread to rise. Alcohol is produced during this process but the alcohol evaporates quickly during the baking.
The other strain of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae that is selected for beer and wine-making produces more alcohol during the brewing or fermenting process. The carbon dioxide given off may be used in beer, champagne, and sparkling wines to create the bubbles.
The fungi, yeast or microorganism that proliferates in our system and most often causes a yeast infection is Candidas albicans. It causes up to 90% of yeast infections in humans. Candidas albicans, or candidiasis, is caused when the natural balance of yeast fungi and bacteria is shifted and the yeast fungi begin to grow out of control and cause problems.
There are a few more yeast fungi that invade the body. You may be familiar with them but haven’t associated them with being yeast infections. Cryptococus neoformans, is another pathogenic yeast like Candidas albicans. It causes diseases of the nervous system like Cryptococoal meningitis. Pneumocystis carinii is a leading cause of pneumonia and other complications in AIDS patients. And there are other pathogens that change their genetic make-up to become a yeast form in the body, thus invading the immune system.
Most yeast species are not harmful to humans if they are kept in check by other fungi and bacteria. The shift in the natural balance of yeast and bacteria in the body can be a result of prolonged use of antibiotics or a compromised immune system. When the antibiotics kill off all the good bacteria, in addition to the bad, the yeast gets a foothold and gives rise to a yeast infection. A similar scenario takes place when you have a weakened immune system.
Getting back to the question at hand … “Does beer cause yeast infections?” The answer is, “No”! Yeast infections are caused by different kinds of yeast, none of which are Saccharomyces Cerevisiae which is the yeast used in brewing beer.
Although beer does not directly cause a yeast infection, the carbohydrates found in beer can feed yeast. So consuming too much beer and other carbohydrates can cause health problems that may eventually lead to a yeast infection, among other things.
So, enjoy your mug of foamy, green beer … but drink in moderation! To learn about natural remedies to help get rid of a yeast infection or prevent one, Click Here!